Joe Hewitt, who made the original Facebook Mobile app for the iPhone, has criticised Android saying the app is poorer on mobiles running on their software. On Twitter he said: “Android tools are horrendous, OS is hideous, but the absence of big brother telling me what to do gives it a slight edge.”
This follows his earlier attack on Apple, slating them for their difficult application approval service. He no longer works on the iOS Facebook app, but had no qualms about shifting his anger towards Android software, saying: “The more I work with Android, the more it reminds me of Windows… as in, its really flexible, agnostic, and developer-friendly, but also really sloppily designed.”
There’s only one way to find out whether the app really is “sloppy”, or whether there really is just no pleasing this guy – so I had a play with both applications.
On first impressions, the two apps are fairly similar, although I noticed straight away that the Android version isn’t as easy on the eye. The iOS version provides you with a pleasant interface complete with its iPhone-typical curved edges and easy to use navigation keys. I can see what Joe means when he says the Android version is “sloppily designed”, with its harsh square icons and fairly difficult to use interface – although this may be because I haven’t used the Android version before.
Another big difference is that, despite its recent updates, the Android version still doesn’t come equipped with Facebook chat and notes. The iPhone app also scores some extra brownie points with its added feature of allowing you to sync Facebook photos with address book contacts. With the iPhone getting priority, my iPhone app was also provided with a new ‘Places’ icon, while Android users may still have a while to wait.
It has to be taken into consideration though, the fact that the Android app has only been around for 2 years and is still under development.
The “horrendous tools” that Joe mentions may be the reason why the Android application isn’t as polished as the iOS version. Knowing Android though, they’ll be ready to up their game…